Special guest: William Gilbert Rees' great-granddaughter Rosemary Grace Marryatt reading an extract from her biography of him


A posthumous birthday party was held on Wednesday in honour of Queenstown’s founder, William Gilbert Rees.

His 195th birthday was celebrated at The Rees Hotel, which was become somewhat of a shrine to Rees, who originally sighted Queenstown in 1860.

Yesterday’s guest of honour was his great-granddaughter Rosemary Grace Marryatt, from Waikanae, who read a passage from a book she published on him late last year, entitled A Sheep in My Eye.

A former biologist and science teacher, she says her ancestor ‘‘really should be remembered for not just the Queenstown situation … but for what he did afterwards, and always, wherever he went, he became very involved in the community’’.